In wake of deadly fire, firefighters canvass N. Austin neighborhood installing smoke alarms

Firefighters from the Austin Fire Department spent their Sunday afternoon going door to door in a North Austin neighborhood.

On February 27th, a home in the neighborhood on Hackberry Lane caught on fire. A 35-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman passed away. Fire officials said they found a smoke detector on the counter with the battery sitting next to it. Specialist Jerome Palmer works for the Austin Fire Department “Smoke is the first you know, kills most people in a fire, and the first immediate danger of a fire. The earlier warning you get the more likely that you are able to get you and everybody else out,” he said.

Cesar Villanuea lives in a home in the area and said it's not the first time they've had a fire in their neighborhood. “There has been a few fires about a year ago there was another one back here.” That's why he's said he’s okay with them coming into his home to check his alarms. “It kind of makes us feel safe that there is an early warning system to know if anything goes wrong,” he said.

Firefighters checked to make sure homes had enough alarms, as well as changed bad batteries, and replaced alarms that weren't working altogether. “Recommendations for smoke alarms, is one in each bedroom, and then one in a common hall to several bedrooms,” Spec. Palmer said.

Firefighter said it's just part of their job to educate the public and help prevent tragedies. But for some in the North Austin neighborhood they said it's much more than that. “I kind of like that the city cares about its citizens and they’re doing what they have to do to protect. I want to thank them for doing their jobs, they're heroes,” Villanuea said.

The Austin Fire Department said they try to canvass at least six neighborhoods a year and have a goal of installing at least 2500 smoke detectors.

 

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